Bok-laden Sharks await WP

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 09:42
Large sharks tackle bag.jpg630 Large sharks front row 630

The Sharks will be looking to close out the pool phase of the Currie Cup on a strong note with a Springbok-laden team to host Western Province on Saturday at Kings Park.

The Sharks will be looking to close out the pool phase of the Currie Cup on a strong note with a Springbok-laden team to host Western Province on Saturday at Kings Park.

Province's five-pointer against the Lions last week saw them leap-frog the Sharks into first place on the log, with just a one point buffer separating the teams.

Both teams have secured home semifinals already, but there is even more riding on the outcome of Saturday's match with the winner claiming top spot for the knock-out rounds and the best possible opportunity of hosting the final.

The Sharks' starting line-up has been bolstered by the inclusion of Springboks Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee, with Pat Lambie named on the bench.

Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said that with the expectation of a tight game, given the importance riding on the outcome, discipline and defence are going to be crucial. A lapse here or there could prove to be costly.

"This week our focus is on discipline because that let us down against the Bulls on the weekend and we need to get that right playing a team like Western Province. Another focus will be on defence because Province use the width of the field well, they have some dangerous runners, especially in Cheslin Kolbe and Gio Aplon.

"For both teams it's extremely important to get a home semi and the opportunity to host the final, so I doubt either side will use this week as preparation for the semifinal when so much is at stake," he said.

Everitt said that although they lost to Province at Newlands earlier in the season, this is a completely new challenge with two very different teams.

"If you look at the match we played them down at Newlands earlier in the Currie Cup, it was a game of two halves. We conceded two soft tries in the first half, but purely because they outmuscled us at the breakdown.

"But in the second half we came back, we were way more physical and confrontational and I think we won those aspects of the game. We outscored them in the second half. We are aware of what’s coming this weekend from a physicality point of view," he explained.

After equalling Helgard Muller's record of 142 matches when he played against the Bulls last week, Jacques Botes (named on the bench) will become South Africa’s most capped Currie Cup player ever should he play.

Wiehahn Herbst is also in line for a special milestone, and will play in his 50th Currie Cup game for the Sharks if he comes on as a replacement.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Louis Ludik.

Date: Saturday, October 12
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26